When walking around public places, it is not unsurprising to see signs warning about wet floors or other obstacles that could impact the safety of the people present. These warning signs are a mechanism used to try and prevent slip and fall accidents. The results of falling can be serious – head injuries, broken bones, deep cuts, etc. These injuries can result in expensive treatment and rehabilitation. After slipping and falling on another’s property, it is important to figure out if the property owner is the one who is liable for your injuries.
Property owners do not want to be liable for injuries sustained while someone is on their property. This is because they do not want to be liable for the costs associated with the injuries sustained. A personal injury attorney is crucial in figuring out who is liable for your injuries and whether a personal injury suit might be successful in receiving compensation.
Causes of a slip and fall can vary, but in many personal injury cases, it is the result of a property owner being negligent in the upkeep of the property. Even if a property owner is negligent, the victim of a slip and fall could be found to be contributorily negligent to his or her own injury. Property owners are likely to claim that you contributed to your own injuries because of your actions.
Georgia has a modified comparative fault standard. This means that in the event of an injury, “the negligence is apportioned in accordance with the percentage of fault that the fact-finder assigns to each party.” A judge or jury will determine what percentage at fault each party to the lawsuit is. Then, if an award amount is given, the injured party’s total award is reduced by the percentage that he or she was at fault for the injury. There are limits to this, though. If you are more than 50% responsible for the injury, you will not be able to recover damages at all. This rule might seem harsh, but it is actually a less stringent standard than other comparative fault jurisdictions. In other jurisdictions, if an injured party is any part responsible for their injury, they are barred from recovery.
The best way to prepare for a lawsuit is to try and predict the other side’s arguments and be ready to negate their claims. The most common arguments that can be raised by the property owner are:
This is by no means a complete list, but common arguments that are often used. If the property owner is able to prove that you were more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you will be barred from recovering compensation.
The personal injury attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. are here to help you seek compensation after a slip and fall. We know that the at-fault party will use every defense possible to limit his or her liability. As such, we make sure to present evidence and facts that can dispute the defense’s claims. Contact us today for a consultation.